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Pre-owned a bigger problem than piracy

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Pre-owned a bigger problem than piracy

Blitz Games Studios’ co-founder Andrew Oliver says second-hand games can effectively quarter owed royalty pay

As EA is set to implement a divisive $10 pay-wall in a bid to curb pre-owned sales of its games, one experienced UK developer believes the threat of second-hand sales must be addressed.

In fact, Blitz Games Studios co-founder Andrew Oliver believes that piracy is not the biggest problem facing the game industry, but instead one part of a bigger, underlying issue; lost revenues.

“Arguably the bigger problem on consoles now is the trading in of games,” he tells Develop.

“I understand why players do this, games are expensive and after a few weeks of playing you’ve either beaten it, or got bored of it so trading it back in to help pay for the next seems sensible when people are short of cash.” 

However, citing figures suggesting that games are traded in as many as four times, he says that – if true – this means that publisher and developer royalties are effectively quartered.

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“So while retail may be announcing a reasonable season, the money going back up the chain is a fraction of what it was only a few years ago.  This is a much bigger problem than piracy on the main consoles,” he added.

Oliver adds that the damage done by the pre-owned business will push publishers towards “digital downloads, either the full game, or downloadable content releases.”

Today EA revealed it is introducing a $10 pay-wall scheme that will see its line of sports games come bundled with a free pass card for online services – permitting access to online games, downloadable content and other online bonuses.

The pass card will work much like a Microsoft Points card, with users having to input a code to get online access. Once the code is used, the player’s online account is activated and the pass card becomes useless.

It means that, in theory, all pre-owned EA Sports games found at the retailers won’t be offering free online access. Those who buy EA Sports games pre-owned can still get online access, but will have to pay $10 for one.



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vaio said:

Pre-owned a bigger problem than piracy

Blitz Games Studios’ co-founder Andrew Oliver says second-hand games can effectively quarter owed royalty pay

 

However, citing figures suggesting that games are traded in as many as four times, he says that – if true – this means that publisher and developer royalties are effectively quartered.

No wonder he believes that used game sales is a bigger problem than piracy when he is willing to believe that every game copy is changing hands 4 times.



The pre-owned market is not a threat. It is a symptom of developers creating product the market doesn't view as worth it's price in value. Providing your consumer better experiences might be the best way to combat that. Or lowering the price. Making it more complicated will just make users not buy your product.



I don't understand, why do they think that pre-owned game sales is their money? The first owner paid the full price so if he wants to sell it, it's his right.

When you buy a second hand car, you don't hear the car manufacturers complaining that it's a threat to them.



lower the prices to 40$ and i ll buy new every time.
especially here in eu prices re ridiculous,i have to import every single game from uk or usa.



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LOL



Above: still the best game of the year.

hmmm.... the gaiming industry raised prices by $10 for this gen.... and now there complaining? hmmmm hipocracy!



What publishers want is a cut on second hand sales.. I can't think of anything else on earth that works like this. when I sold my car did toyota get a cut? did the company that made my computer desk get a cut when I brought it off another person that had no room for it in their new house. In the case of video game selling companies (ebgames etc), I would not be surprised if selling second hand games is simply mandatory to survive with the pricing margins.

Counter argument could be that software has Piracy that the others don't have (in terms of ease). Valid point, but if the latest "pay what you want" indie game collection has shown, is that its sometimes far too hard for people to pay even 1 cent, and they download it for free or torrent it. It in my eyes proves that downloaded copy != lost potential sale.



 

does anyone know how many checks carmax writes to GM...